The Russian analogue of GitHub from RFRIT and the Ministry of Digitization has been postponed indefinitely due to a lack of funding

The Russian analogue of GitHub from RFRIT and the Ministry of Digitization has been postponed indefinitely due to a lack of funding

According to media sources, the launch of the project of the Russian analogue of GitHub from the Russian Fund for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT) and the Ministry of Digitization has been postponed indefinitely due to a lack of funding.

At the beginning of March 2023, the mass media reported that the Ministry of Digital Affairs had found investments in the amount of 1.3 billion rubles for the creation of a state software repository – a domestic analogue of GitHub. The Ministry of Statistics found out that since 2007, the amount required for the creation of a domestic analogue of GitHub has been inactive in the accounts of the Rosinfocominvest fund. But this money was never transferred to RFRIT, which is responsible for the implementation of the project of the Russian analogue of GitHub.

According to media sources, work is currently underway with the expert community to clarify approaches to the implementation of previously launched projects, including such as the repository. The emphasis of the project has shifted to the issue of more active use of artificial intelligence in data processing procedures and work with code, as well as broad involvement of the IT community to solve these tasks, he added. According to the interlocutor, the results of this work will be available for review in the near future.

The opinion of specialized experts

“Unlike the largest hubs, such as GitHub and GitLab, which work on the principle of a social network and have attracted hundreds of millions of users, it would be difficult for a national repository to attract a new audience,” Svyatoslav Bocharov, the head of the analytical group of the Institute for the Study of World Markets, explained to the media.

“The difficulty is to make it in demand and not turn it into a code dump,” Lyudmila Bogatyreva, the head of the digital solutions department of the Polilog agency, told the media.

In addition, the support of such an open code repository would require regular investments, emphasized Pavlo Hrynevych, technical director of DK Tsyfra. It would require infusions into the infrastructure, i.e. renting capacity from one of the leading providers — Yandex, VK, or Rostelecom, as well as ensuring resistance to failures and security, which would cost 300–500 million rubles per year. he summarized.

The history of the creation of the Russian analogue of GitHub by RFRIT and the Ministry of Digital

In November 2022, an experiment to create a state software repository by the Ministry of Digital began. It should last until April 30, 2024.

At the beginning of April last year, the Russian Fund for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT) completed the acceptance of applications from active Open Source developers to participate in an experiment on the development of the use of open software within the framework of the creation of a national repository – an analogue of GitHub. The main selection criterion at this stage was experience with open source. In order to prove their experience, developers had to provide links to informational resources (Habr, Github or similar) in their application.

In accordance with the resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 10.10.2022 No. 1804 “On conducting an experiment on granting the right to use programs for electronic computers, algorithms, databases and documentation for them, including the exclusive right to which belongs to the Russian Federation, under the conditions of an open license and creation of conditions for the use of open software” provides:

  • creation of a national open source software repository;

  • placement in it of software created, including, with budget funds for reuse in other projects;

  • formation of a regulatory framework for the publication of open source software.

In addition, Resolution No. 1804 provides a form of open license under which software will be published by government agencies and corporations.

This license is very similar to the Public Open License version 1.1. The rights to the text of the license belong to the Ministry of Digital (, does it operate within the framework of the legislation of the Russian Federation.

On April 30, 2022, the Ministry of Digital Affairs promised to launch the Russian counterpart of GitHub by the end of the year. State companies and large domestic IT companies will participate in this project. For example, software under an open license owned by the state was to be published there.

At the beginning of February 2022, the media reported that the Ministry of Digitization will start an experiment to create a Russian analogue of GitHub already in May of this year. There were to be presented software products under an open license, created with budget funds, for example, source codes and programs developed for the Ministry of Digital Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Russian Register, the Pension Fund and other state bodies. Russian developers and companies will be able to publish their programs on a voluntary basis.

A separate operator will maintain and place on its IT infrastructure an analogue of the popular web service for hosting IT projects and their joint development, GitHub. It should be determined by the Russian Fund for the Development of Information Technologies (RFRIT).

The Ministry of Digitization planned that the national repository, under the terms of an open license (allows you to use the software for free, including modifying and selling it, using its source code in other products), will primarily house the open software of the e-government infrastructure. However, in addition to all components that provide functions of cryptographic protection of user information.

The agency expected that as the national repository becomes full and in demand, regulators and oversight organizations will determine what else needs to be posted there. The Ministry of Digitization planned to develop criteria and restrictions for the publication there of the code of state organizations and state services. It was assumed that all individuals and legal entities would have access to the national repository “without restrictions on national, territorial and other grounds.”

The main participant and organizer of the domestic analogue of GitHub is the recently created non-profit organization “Open Code”. It already includes VK, T1, Rostelecom and other developers and customers of open source software solutions.

It is noteworthy that in October 2021, the Ministry of Digital Affairs and ANO “Digital Economy” introduced the non-profit organization Russian Open Source Foundation, which was supposed to unite the main developers of open source software in our country, including Yandex, Group, VTB, Postgres Pro, Arena and Sber. On the basis of this NGO, the Russia Open Source Hub portal was launched. It is a communication platform and an independent community that unites everyone involved in “open source”, Russian software development and the IT industry as a whole.

In September 2021, the Government of the Russian Federation approved the second package of solutions for the accelerated development of the country’s IT industry and the fact that a domestic platform similar to GitHub should appear in the country.

In January 2020, the Ministry of Economy offered to create an analogue of GitHub in Russia for 2.1 billion rubles. At the time, the department explained that the domestic GitHub is necessary in case Russia is disconnected from GitHub and other similar repositories “due to reputational and sanction risks.”

In Russia, there was already one attempt to create a national repository, which was made by the National Fund of Algorithms and Programs in 2014 at the request of the Ministry of Communications and Communications. But this project turned out to be a failure.

Analogues of GitHub from Russian IT companies

On the basis of its capabilities, Rostelecom has created a safe and trusted repository of proven and popular Open Source packages and libraries, which are most often used in software development, called “RTK-Phoenix”.

The Moscow government has opened access to the Mos.Hub open source development library – an analogue of GitHub and GitLab. Information support of the Mos.Hub project is provided by specialists of the Department of Information Technologies of Moscow (DIT).

SberTech, a subsidiary of Sber, invites developers to test its GitHub counterpart – the GitVerse web service, which is fully compatible with Git and has a high operating speed.

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